New Zealand Home

Science Expedition New Zealand
New Zealand Map

Rotorua and the White Island Volcano

Read Colin's Journal
New Zealand Volcano The smell of rotten eggs hangs in the air. Steam billows up from shallow lakes, mud pools bubble, and geysers boil and erupt all around. Rotorua is a major tourist resort, built in the heart of a giant volcanic crater. The eruption that formed the Rotorua area happened 140,000 years ago and threw 500 cubic kilometers of rock and ash into the sky. This explosion was about 300 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington, a major event in recent U.S. history.

The last large eruption in the Rotorua area occurred in 1886, but another eruption could come at any time. Yet, curiously, almost 70,000 people have made their homes in this area.

Volcanic RockTrek Update
Colin's trek took him to the White Island Volcano, not Mt. Ruapehu as originally scheduled. White Island is one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes. On Colin's journey, he visited the island and walked into the heart of the volcano.

Want to learn more about volcanoes? Visit other volcanoes in New Zealand. Then take an Internet Field Trip to the best sites about volcanoes and travel deep below the earth's surface, where volcanoes form. Then check out some of the world's most spectacular volcanoes!

New Zealand Home | Trek Map | Keep Your Own Field Journal | Meet the Biologist | Meet Kids in New Zealand | Teacher's Guide